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9 strange brews from around the world

By: Josh Lew on Nov. 4, 2014, 10:48 a.m.
Harvesting dandelions

Photo: Tipper/flickr

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Dandelion wine

Not all unique alcohol drinks come from far-flung corners of the Earth. Dandelions, those pesky yellow flowers that most people consider weeds, can be found on lawns all across the U.S. These plants are edible — when they haven't been treated with weed killer or lawn fertilizer, of course. The roots can be roasted, ground and brewed as a coffee substitute, and the green leaves can be added to salad. The yellow petals have traditionally been used to make wine.

The petals are fermented like other types of wine (with sugars and yeast). Because the end product is very light, citrus fruits or fruit juices are often added for extra flavor. Some dandelion wine is available commercially. Though home brewing is possible, a fair bit of know-how is required. Once bottled, the wine has to ferment for at least an additional six months before it can be enjoyed.